Telly bosses to open up the broadcasting world to working-class kids in levelling-up jobs drive

TELLY bosses will open up the broadcasting world to working-class kids in a new levelling up recruitment drive to be launched this week.

They will encourage youngsters to pursue a career in creative industries with a scheme called “4Schools”.

It will reach out to classrooms around Britain in a bid to encourage and inspire pupils, particularly those from deprived backgrounds.

Channel 4 will showcase the broad range of roles in the broadcast, film and digital sectors.

It is hoped the initiative will motivate children to picture themselves in TV, bring to life the careers on offer and give practical guidance on how to land a job.

Channel 4’s Sinead Rocks said: “We believe that for many young people, if you can’t see it – you can’t be it. That’s why we think there is real value in providing an accessible insight into the creative industries alongside practical advice as to how to get your foot in the door. 


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“The UK is a world leader in television and film production and it’s incumbent upon us to reach out to people from different backgrounds, help young people realise their aspirations and bring through the next generation of talent into our industry, regardless of where they live.”

Headteacher Matt Burton, who became a household name after appearing on Channel 4’s hit series Educating Yorkshire, said: “The next generation of professionals are in our primary and secondary schools right now, and it’s incredibly important that every child is given the opportunity to find out about a breadth of careers – including those in the creative sector.

“Understanding and interacting with people working in exciting and diverse careers can have a life-shaping effect, and complements the brilliant careers guidance that already goes on in schools across the country.”

4Schools will provide a range of assets to schools to give young people insight into career options across media industries.

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These will include workshops, quizzes and sessions from people already working in the industry.

The activities will bring to life the various types of roles within Channel 4 and the kinds of jobs available at its creative partners such as the 300 independent production companies the public service broadcaster works with each year.

The initiative includes materials to support schools with their own careers activities and provide the opportunity for speakers from Channel 4 and independent production companies to visit schools and discuss creative careers with pupils. 

Focused on 11 to 14-year-olds, the sessions are designed to support the curriculum, and provide contact with employers and labour market information.

The initiative will demonstrate the breadth of career opportunities and show that the industry is accessible and relevant to people from all backgrounds, with a major focus on diversity and inclusion. 4Schools will initially focus schools in the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and the North East but the ambition is to roll out the initiative more widely across the Nations and Regions.

Ofcom research shows 59 per cent of people working in television in last year had parents working in professional occupations.

This was nearly double the national average of 33 per cent, indicating the challenge and opportunity for the sector to appeal to those from more diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

4Schools is a brand new initiative within 4Skills, Channel 4’s nationwide training and development strategy with a particular focus on people from diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want a career in broadcasting.

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